Just some random thoughts on books as gifts:

*This article in the Grand Junction [CO] Free Press  by Marjorie R. Asturias gives great reasons to buy a book this holiday season for everyone on your shopping list

beedle-bard-cover*The new J.K. Rowling book The Tales of  Beedle  the Bard is flying off the shelves, faster than any book in UK history, as per Guardian.uk .  It is a collection of fairy tales set in the Potter world (and just 109 pages!)




 *Nicholas Basbanes at Fine Books & Collections offers “Nick’s Picks”, his thoughts on books on books

*The Fine Books & Collections store offers several gift options for the book lover / book collector in your life; just a subscription to the magazine would be the best of gifts! (and no wrapping!) [note that the journal is going to be online only effective January 2009]

*David Baddiel writes on “why you should only collect books by writers you love” at The Times online.

*The Guardian online has published various excerpts from books shortlisted this year for the “bad sex scene award”.  These are books you may, or may not, want on your shopping list…but at least they are worth a chuckle or two!  Rachel Johnson won the award for her book Shire Hell; while John Updike was praised for his lifetime achievement!

*This of interest to all librarians and book-lovers and those horrified by censorship from the Bibliophile BullpenThomas Bowdler Rides Boldly into the 21st Century :  can it be true that people actually have torn out pages of the book “Girl Interrupted” and returned them to the students appropriated cleansed??  Click here for the original article in the New Rochelle (NY) News.

*An article in The Rutland [VT] Herald on the Local First movement ~ remember this when you are making up your book shopping lists

*An article by Margaret Drabble on Doris Lessing:   “Ahead of her Time” atGuardian.uk

king-arthur-steinbeckPenguin Classics has re-released John Steinbeck’s retelling of Mallory’sLe Morte d’Arthur, The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights.  “John Steinbeck enjoyed Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur at the age of 9 and was inspired by the magic of it. Now, with Steinbeck’s modernization packaged as a beautiful new Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, and with a vibrant new foreword by renowned fantasy author Christopher Paolini, a new generation of future writers can discover this timeless work.” [Penguinclassics.com] 

*Scrapbooks: An American History by Jessica Helfand is being touted as the best coffee table book of the year:  “A gorgeous visual history of American scrapbooks and their evolution over two hundred years. 242 pages, 425 photographs printed in full color.  Combining pictures, words, and a wealth of personal ephemera, scrapbook makers preserve on the pages of their books a moment, a day, or a lifetime. Highly subjective, rich in emotional meaning, the scrapbook is a unique and often quirky form of expression in which a person gathers and arranges meaningful materials to create a personal narrative. This richly illustrated book is the first to focus close attention on the history of American scrapbooks—their origins, their makers, their diverse forms, the reasons for their popularity, and their place in American cultural life.” [from the website]  Click here for information on the book and here for the author’s blog The Daily Scrapbook.  This book is an ephemera feast!